tv [untitled] August 1, 2011 5:30am-6:00am PDT
loved and it was up to the board of supervisors at the time, 1931, to determine when -- what they should do with the money. the first idea and the one that was promoted in its day was some asphalt and a road to be constructed around lake merced. now, we love lake merced and we're proud of lake merced and it certainly needs a similar type of investment today. but clearly it was like nothing we see today. but it was the witness dovepble the park and recreation commiss, -- commission -- wisdom of the park and recreation commission at the time that said no, we need to do something more substancive, more significant and they decided to reach out got a that built the city hall and the opera house in that great beaux-arts style.
for those of you visiting, come down 8:30 to 5:30 monday through friday to city hall and enjoy one of the most remarkable civic institutions anywhere in the united states. it was done by arthur brown. designed by arthur brown, who came up with this concept. people thought for years that this, and i kid you not, and i know the chief will talk a bit more about some of the legacy and the hysterics and a lot of the rumors about what this was purported to be designed on behalf but i'll leave that -- and no, it's not what you were thinking. that is shameful, really. just not right. but the fact was there were a lot of rumors about this, including the rumors that it was filled, i kid you not, this is a true story, and if san francisco, all of you that love those san francisco stories will probably believe it, they
thought it was filled with tomato sauce. it was a big part of the rumor and folklore around coit tower and that it had secret pipes -- this is a true story -- secret pipes that would be pumped into all the restaurants in the north beach area. >> that's not true? >> that's not true. >> see, the italian speak've of the house is -- speaker of the house is shocked to hear that may not be true. but it's again part of that narrative of this great city that makes us very proud to be members of the community and it's in that spirtd, the spirit of lily coit, the spirit in which she contributed so much of her life's work to give us this remarkable symbol of the passion and the love she had for our city that makes our city so special and so great. happy 75th anniversary and thank you all very much for
being out here. >> it is my great honor to introduce to you assemblyman mark leno. >> thank you. it is a real pleasure to be here with speaker pelosi and mayor newsome, board president aaron peskin. let me welcome all our local visitors as well as our out of town guests. i want to thank them for choosing san francisco and joining us on this historic 0 caverings and for your sales tax dollars we especially need at this time it's a wonderful san francisco day to recount some of our local history. imagine lily coit having over $100,000 in 1929 to leave to the city and county of san
francisco as a bequest. i can't wait to see what bill o'riley does when he recognizes that san francisco is celebrating the philanthropic legacy of a cigar-chomping, card-playing, fire engine chasing, cross-dressing victorian lady. i'm sorry, madame speaker,, but lily coit is the original queen of san francisco values. so i want to -- thank you -- present a little bit of love from the california state assembly. one of the last times i'll be able to do this from the asemplifment i'm about to be turned out. recounting the wonderful history of coit tower. i'll spare you the witty and wonderful whereases but the resolved clause, thanks the pioneer park project, all the leader of the telegraph hill community, vetica and all your
leadership and hard work. it really does a -- take a lot of commitment and effort and tenacity to do all that you do to make coit tower that which it is. congratulations on your 75th. >> ok. we also have with us today the district supervisor for this supervisorial district, number three. who is also the president of the san francisco board of supervisors, mr. aaron peskin. >> thank you, rose. madame speaker, mr. mayor, assemblyman leno, our fire and police chiefs to the commissioners from the recreation and parks commission, visitors and residents alike, i'm here to say words of profound thanks. thanks to the state -- he state
of lily hitchcock coit who are here today, thanks to the united states of america and the works progress administration and the public art works projects 75 years ago. thank you to our recreation and parks department and a number of agencies, our municipal transportation agency, our department of parking and traffic, department of public works, who actually all came together and in an unprecedented piece of cooperation withly. ed -- with limited funds in monday -- honor of the 75th anniversary, have put new panes of glass in, restriped the parking lot and so we actually have some more things to celebrate today. thank you to all those agencied and thank you, mr. mayor. i think there is no more appropriate time to celebrate the 75th anniversary of this icon because it is also an icon of the in deal -- the new deal
75 years ago. this neags -- nation embraced the new deal in difficult economic times. it was a legacy of art work and creativity and jobs across this country and this is the first example of the public works of art project and that was the first organization under the new deal and so we should celebrate that as we stand on the precipice of change on november 4. thank you and happy 75th. >> ok. as the mayor alluded to, he was referring to. flyshacker at the time in the 1930's who was involved in the decision making process for coit tower. today the president of the recreation and park commission is mr. larry martin. please welcome him. >> thank you, thank you, thank you. i'm honored, i'm so honored to
be here with all uven today for such a special moment. to be here with all the great leaders and to be here with all the great workers that did all of this. this is a great, great historical situation and i'm happy and honored to see this and we're honored to be here with something that looks so fantastic. i am just happy to also, you know, as you know, we do so many things, but this is a great today and all my commissioners that are here with me that's part of that, lazarus and harrison right here, tom harrison, who with the commission and we've been working hard to try to make sure that everything is going on. but you know, i was here 50 years ago. and to see it now is great history, what this looks like today and it is really
fantastic and i think it is something of a greatness for everything. and i'm honored to be here, to be with this and to see it today and the most important part is, we're taking about, is the coit's tower 75ths anniversary. that is fantastic. so i'm honored to be here and so today we're also here with our, you know, our general manager now, our new general manager of the rec and park who's now doing a fantastic job and is on his way doing fantasticness for us today. it is my honor, our new general manager. right here. >> thank you,. martin. thank you speaker pelosi, mr. mayor, mark leno, aaron peskin. we are thrilled in the r.e.c. -- rec and park department to be the home of this incredible department. as you heard before, this is an
inspirational symbol to the world. the mayor often talks about beacons on a hill. this is really a beacon on the hill that speaks to the world about the values san francisco has. one of those values is really preservation of things, making sure that when they're built, they're built to last, that they're beautiful, that their aesthetics are great. this is 75 years later and it's never looked this good. i really want to thank every single person today, i particularly want to thank rose dennis and her team. i want to thank the park rangers and the police department and the fire department and every single city employee who worked so hard over the last few days to make this work today. yesterday we were at the california academy of sciences unvietnamming an incredible sculpture by the artist maya ling. and to me, san francisco has
this her i tange of art. we don't want to just put things up, we want them to be beautiful i go fishing with my kids every weekend. when we're out on the bay this is the symbol we look back to. it isn't the golden gealt bridge, it isn't the trans america building, it's coit tower. and we really feel we've arrived home and hopefully you will feel the same. finally i want to thank the volunteers. the recreation and parks department. you a -- these are difficult financial times. you don't need to hear it from them. you see it on the paper every day. we were not -- would not be able to manage all the parks in san francisco, 242, without incredible people like ann and ken and others here today. so thank you and a big round of applause to the volunteers. right now i want to give a certificate of appreciation
first to ken maily. vemplet tica. thank you. and ann halstead. thank you so much. thanks to you -- back to you, rose. >> one of the major components of this day being a success was the tremendous and spectacular support we received from one of our sister agencies, the saverp fire department. it is -- san francisco fire department. it is our great honor to introduce to you the chief of the san francisco fires department, miss joanne h air. kwhite. >> thank you and -- haiswhite. >> thank you and good afternoon. i would like to say thanks for the great coordination effort. rosie did a great job and the
director plinlal. -- blumenthal. it's a great honor to be standing here before you,, a native daughter. what did you think of the 65-foot ladder race? pretty incredible. i would be certainly remiss if i didn't introduce personally each member. most of them are not working today and they volunteered their time to come here. just like the sheriff's department and police department that play a large role in the city, we're part of this -- the fabric of this great estimate so engine company 41, operating a rig under the direction of o'neill, and i would like to introduce each and every one of the members. it's a 10-person lift that made the demonstration.
first, ramon simone. kevin walsh. julio delucchi, dave cites. doug menguay, pat moran. sasha grande. marco lopez. jonathan ashbrook. down to two. daniel mccloskey. and the person that called the ladder and bravely climbed the ladder and flew our beautiful flag, larry mcdonald. i'd also like to acknowledge paul barry in the red shirt. paul is president of our san
francisco fire historical society and there are many members today, including the huggins, that are up here with me. i'd like to ask donna and chuck to step forward. donna is press -- dressed in the period costume of lily hitchcock coit. >> hello, everybody. great to be here! >> we also have retired captain jook -- jack mccloskey as well as phil egg anl -- eggan. we -- egan. we love being part of this city. our halt is off to lily hitchcock coit. i stand here today with ian, a descendant of lily hitchcock coit. i must say even though i don't smoke cigars or gamble, my hat is off to lily hitchcock coit. she was a visionary person. . maybe a little ahead of her
time. i know if might have been an active member of the fighter department. . but she's near and dear to the heart of everybody in the 2ke789 thank you for the generosity and thank you for coming out and celebrating with us. >> we are very, very honored to have members of lily's family with us here today. down below, barbara. right there, barbara coit is sitting right there. and i'd like to introduce barbara's son, mr. michael coit. >> hello. what a remarkable day. what a grand place. coit tower and telegraph hill never disappoint as a tranquil
outlook over a bustling city and busy world. i never tire of treking up here with family and friends. but there is not doctor an extra attraction today -- preferred parking. a first for this coit and i'm a native. the coit family owes its presence in san francisco to two tall, distinguished yankees. first came my great-great uncle howard coit, an enterprising man in the still young state of california. a member of the san francisco stock exchange in the 18 70's and 1880's, he met and married lily hitchcock, that lovely lady. a century after howard coiment married lily hitchcock, my father moved here with huts wife, barbara wheeler, from dallas to san francisco. like his great-uncle, my father
also was drown bit promise of business opportunity here. my parents nurtured the family's links to this great landmark, becoming mascots of sorts to the telegraph hill dwellers, attending the coit 50th anniversary in 1983 and the rededication of pioneer park in 2001. my father would be here talking to you today but he passed away four years ago. he was very proud of our family's link to this but very humbled as well. coit tower's 75th anniversary is important because it returns attention to this art deco landmark, a symbol for a progressive city then and now. from lily hitchcock coit's bequest to the muralists who covered coit tower's interior with diverse impressions of the city's politics and people, coit tower reflects a
civic-minded people prone to bold action and provocative viewpoints. coit tower is a place for great architecture, art, and a place to meet the world. thank you. >> i'd now like to introduce one of the members of the diamond jubilee committee. we put together a committee earlier this year and that's how we arrived at this point and the person that was extremely key in pulling this together logistically, creatively, spiritually for me and keeping me from going cuckoo -- cuckoo is a wonderful person who lives in this community, mr. ken maily. >> thank you. it's an honor to be here again. i had the pleasure to be here in 19983 for the 50th anniversary with then-may r
dianne feinstein, who's the honorary chairman of our this year semicesc quite centennial. the senator sent a note of greetings the 8 it's my pleasure to extend a warm welcome to all of you at the 75th coit tower diamond judge brinkemaee. i'm sorry i'm unable to be with you today. the coit tower is one of the crown jewels of the city, known throughout the world for its beauty. as a united states senator and former payor of san francisco i once again welcome all of you to this celebration and thank you for recognizing the rich history of this beloved landmark. sincerely, senator dianne feinstein. as i said, i'm proud to be here again today. i'm already thinking they'll
start tomorrow planning for the 100th anniversary in 2023 and maybe have a little more lead time. coit tower and pioneer park are symbols've the city's pride in the late 1800's. through the the city's history there are legends of civic pride and heroic deachtds the phoenix over the doorway represents several rebirths of san francisco, from the fires that destroyed it and the great earthquake of 1906. these disasters include many stories of heroic efforts of citizens to rebuild. one of the most famous volunteers was the knickerbocker five. legend has it that at the age of 15 lily saw a fireman struggling to pull a fire engine up a hill.
she dropped her school books and joined to help. they invited her to become a mascot. you've got to love anyone who smokes cigars, plays cards and loves firemen. this land was donated by citizens who purchased it in 1876 to preserve this historic site and to honor. city's early pioneers. when lily died in the 1920's, as you've been told, her bequest is what built this tower, to beautify the city she loved. little did she or anyone recognize that this memorial would beautify the city but also become one of its iconic images. in the 1920's, a group of neighbors formed the pioneer park project and raised funds to build the new stairways you see here and you can visit the
pioneer parks display over here on the west side that will announce phase two, to deal with the plantings on the north side. they have a credit card machine and are willing to take donations. if there say message in this commemoration of lily coit's gift to us three quarters of a century to us i suggest it be a reminder of the importance of civic pride, to honor the history of volunteerism, to help the city in times of need, and believe me our parks are in a time of need, in small or large ways, support your parks and open spaces, appreciate the contribution the parks make to the extraordinary quality of life we enjoy in san francisco and the tradition of our men and women pioneers, step up and do what you can to maintain the beauty of the city we all love. thank you for joining us all today and again i look forward to 2033.
>> all right. i want to the give you some information about what's going to go on after the ceremony is over. we have entertainment. we have free rides on the famous, famous elevator so you can go up and see the beautiful view people come from all over the world to see. the world-famous murals will also be on display. lily hitchcock coit's diary and other pieces of memorabilia are going to be on display inside. additionally we had a number of generous doaners, one of which is mr. joseph schmidt -- please come over here -- mr. joseph schmidt, who is a true san franciscoan in the fact that he's generous and in good times and in bad, everybody loves his chocolate. if you haven't had his chocolate, you don't know what you're missing. he for this occasion built and carved himself a coit tower out
of white and bittersweet chocolate which is on display in the tower when we open the tower today. thank you, mr. schmidt, for doing that for us. in addition, mr. pll schwab donated $25,000 worth of graphic artwork design. this banner is made for this occasion only. we will give out free posters of this design today and that will be available for you. we also have half a dozen city guides here today to do commemorative tours of the tower the you can ask any question you have, no matter how esoteric, and they'll be able to answer it. also we will have jail productions, down here, to perform ragtime music.
also, again, lots of history going on today, mitch morea zachaim, the author of the most influential book every written about coit tower, this book here, you have a rare opportunity to meet the author today and obtain a copy if you would like. this copy is for madame speaker. >> oh, thank you very much. >> judy irving, the producer and direct -- director of the document orie paris on telegraph hill, is here today and you can meet here. also we have arts and crafts. you can make a commemorative coit tower button. there is food in the back. all that is located in the southern part of the tower overlooking lily's lawn, and there's also information
including the san francisco parks trust, ms. karen kid wel, who is right there, generously loan -- donated as part of being a diamond jubilee committee member. i'd like now to introduce mr. nick rause, san francisco native, saxophonist, who's requesting to perform "i left my heart in san francisco." ♪ ♪